Oakland restaurant introduces clever "hybrid" model for tipping

Tipping has been a subject of increasing discontent and creativity among Bay Area restaurateurs, particularly as new initiatives to raise the minimum wage have passed in both San Francisco and Oakland. In a bid to cut costs and even out income disparities between the kitchen and waitstaff, restaurateurs from Daniel Patterson to the Bar Agricole/Trou Normand folks have begun adding automatic service charges to their bills, telling diners that the only alternative would be to significantly raise prices.

Now, as Inside Scoop reports, Oakland's Toast Kitchen & Bar has come up with a new "hybrid" tipping system, which they believe provides the best balance in terms of creating pay equity, promoting top-notch service, and keeping prices low for diners. Two weeks ago, owner Heather Sittig Jackson implemented an automatic 15% service charge, but also encouraging diners to tip up to the extra 20% if they receive good service. The 15% goes to the entire service staff (cooks, servers, dishwashers, bussers-- everyone but owners and managers), while the front-of-house alone pockets the remaining 5%.

Read the Full Article

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Restaurants bring the industry's concerns to Congress

Neary 600 operators made their case to lawmakers as part of the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference.


Podcast transcript: Virtual Dining Brands co-founder Robbie Earl

A Deeper Dive: What is the future of digital-only concepts? Earl discusses their work to ensure quality and why focusing on restaurant delivery works.


In the fast-casual sector, Chipotle laps Panera Bread

The Bottom Line: The two fast-casual restaurant pioneers have diverged over the past five years, as the burrito chain has thrived while Panera hit a wall. Here's why.


More from our partners